Pakistan and World Bank on Friday signed the $400 million loan agreement for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Spending Effectively for Enhanced Development (SPEED) programme on Friday. Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan witnessed the signing ceremony of the loan agreement with the World Bank at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, according to a press statement. Secretary Economic Affairs Noor Ahmed and Country Director World Bank Najy Benhassine signed the financing agreement on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Omar Ayub Khan reiterated the parameters of valued partnership with the World Bank. He said the signing ceremony is a reflection of continued confidence by the IFIs on the government’s policy and programme. He reiterated the commitment of the federal government to extend all possible support to the provincial governments in their efforts to restore human capital by addressing setbacks to health, education, jobs, and building resilience service delivery systems and promoting economic opportunities to ensure inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the country. The minister thanked the World Bank country management for extending their continuous support to the government of Pakistan in achieving sustainable economic development in the country. Country Director WB, Najy Benhassine ensured the World Bank’s continuous financial and technical support to the government of Pakistan in achieving the priority development objectives and to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the country. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Spending Effectively for Enhanced Development (SPEED) aims to support the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in improving the availability and management of public resources for delivery of primary, middle and high school education and primary health services in the province. The programme objectives will be achieved by: (a) introducing medium-term perspective to fiscal planning and budgeting to create fiscal space for education and health service delivery; (b) providing adequate and predictable funding for education and health services delivery; (c) provision of adequate staffing and facilities for health and education service delivery. The improved management of public finances for delivery of education and health services will be ensured through: (a) delegation of greater financial management authorities to line departments and facility levels; (b) rolling out integrated financial management information systems; and (c) modernisation of procurement processes. Meanwhile, Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan chaired a meeting on foreign-funded projects of the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and reviewed the progress of the ongoing portfolio. He emphasised to remove all the bottlenecks and expedite implementation of the projects on a fast track basis. In order to ensure smooth and timely completion of the projects, he directed to review progress of the projects on a monthly basis. The meeting was attended by all the senior officials of the Economic Affairs Division.